The progressive blogosphere is having a good laugh at self-professed “traditional marriage” defender Karl Rove, after a Texas court granted the former Bush White House political mastermind his second divorce.
The man referred to as “Bush’s brain” ended his 24-year marriage to Darby Rove last week, said Dana Perino, the former Bush press secretary and now, apparently, the “family spokeswoman” for the Roves, according to Politico.
News that Rove is getting divorced became instant fodder for political commentators who have chafed over the years at what they see as Rove’s cynical exploitation of Christian “values voters” to win elections.
“No one should really be surprised by the hypocrisy, especially because Rove himself is apparently not devoutly Christian, he simply specialized in playing to those who were,” writes Sara Libby on her True/Slant blog. “Nor is it surprising that for all of gay marriage opponents’ talk of how it will destroy ‘traditional’ marriage, Rove didn’t seem to have much respect for families to begin with.”
Salon’s Glenn Greenwald took a similar tack. “This is Rove’s second ‘traditional marriage’ to end without death doing them part — his next one will be his third traditional marriage,” Greenwald quipped on his Twitter account.
In a blog posting at Salon, Greenwald pointed out that Texas has some of the most liberal divorce laws in the US, allowing (heterosexual) couples to split up “if they feel like it.”
Texas, needless to say, is one of the states which has constitutionally barred same-sex marriages, and has a Governor who explicitly cites Christian dogma as the reason to support that provision, yet the overwhelming majority of Texan citizens make sure that there’s nothing in the law making their own marriages binding or permanent — i.e., traditional. They’re willing to limit other people’s marriage choices on moral grounds, but not their own, and thus have a law that lets them divorce whenever the mood strikes. That’s the very permissive, untraditional and un-Christian law that Rove just exploited in order to obtain his divorce….
If Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh and their friends and followers actually were required by law to stay married to their wives — the way that “traditional marriage” was generally supposed to work — the movement to have our secular laws conform to “traditional marriage” principles would almost certainly die a quick, quiet and well-deserved death.
In a tweet Tuesday, MSNBC news host David Shuster addressed Rove directly. “Sanctity of marriage? You just got [a] divorce,” Shuster wrote. “How about a law aimed at you instead of gay couples?”
“Maybe Rove was just getting a jump on all Texas marriages being declared invalid?” asks the Queerty blog, in reference to reports last month that Texas’ constitutional ban on gay marriage may have inadvertently banned all marriage.
Rove’s first marriage, to Houston socialite Valerie Wainwright, ended in 1979 after three years.
His political memoir, Courage and Consequence, is due out in March. Rove is also scheduled to appear at a number of Republican fundraisers in the coming weeks, including one in Raleigh, North Carolina, for Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), and another for the Lucas County Republican Party in Ohio.
Rove appeared on Fox News Tuesday, where he was given 11 minutes to talk about the attempted Christmas Day attack on a Northwest airliner, and the growing budget deficit under President Obama. His divorce wasn’t mentioned.
– David Edwards contributed to this report